Swing Discussion Boards > Benny Goodman on Glenn Miller

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by DanceMentor, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I liked this quote, and I think it is equally meaningful to dancers as it is to musicians.

    “I remember Glenn Miller coming to me once, before he had his own band, saying ‘How do you do it? How do you get started? It’s so difficult.’ I told him, ‘I don’t know but whatever you do don’t stop. Just keep on going. Because one way or the other, if you want to find reasons why you shouldn’t keep on, you’ll find ‘em. The obstacles are all there; there are a million of ‘em. But if you want to do something, you do it anyway, and handle the obstacles as they come….Even to this day, I don’t like people walking on stage not looking good. You have to look good. If you feel special about yourself then you’re going to play special…Look, what I mean is this: if an individual allows his personal standard to be eroded, something of what he does is going to be compromised. It’s a matter of detail, sometimes when you start losing detail, whether it’s in music or in life, something as small as not sending a thank-you note, of failing to be polite to someone, you start to lose substance”
     
  2. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    That is a great quote. Thank you for sharing it with us. Besides just applying to musicians and dancers, it does apply to every area of life.
     
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes. It is a great quote that fits in almost every area of life. Words to live and learn by. 8)
     
  4. HF

    HF New Member

    Just today I learned that Glenn Miller is said to be killed in WWII by friendly fire. I am shocked.
     
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Really? All I knew about was the Glenn Miller Story movie, which only mentioned the fact of his disappearance, but not friendly fire. Hmm ...
     
  6. HF

    HF New Member

    Hmm ... rereading that article at wikipedia.org it is just one of several possibilities.

    The music of Glenn Miller has been great inspiration for me since my youth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Miller
     
  7. luh

    luh Active Member

    cool quote,
    @HF, i didn't know about that either. and what exactly is meant by friendly fire? That they made jokes while shooting?
    luh
     
  8. HF

    HF New Member

    @ luh
    Friendly fire is not friendly at all but means that somebody is fired or bombed by own military by accident. You find much more qualified information following the wikipedia link (see above).
     
  9. luh

    luh Active Member

    so, the droping of the bombs of the canadians (there are a lot of "the"'s in this sentence ;)) was friendly fire.

    wikipedia is in my opinion very good, but it has a lot of stuff which it doesn't have yet. especially swing dance related stuff. there are some biographies, but i'm still missing a lot.
    You guys should write something. There are some who seem to know a lot.
    luh
     
  10. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    There was a feature on that on, I guess, PBS, not so long ago. It was very interesting.
     
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    All I remember is the super dramatic movie in which good old Jimmy Stwerat never returned from the war. :(

    Interesting quote, btw. 8)
     
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Glenn Miller, at the draft exempt age of 38, volunteered for service in the Army Specialist Corps during the war. Just as some of the early swing dancers stopped showing up on film in those years, Miller's career ended abruptly.

    Here's an update on this thread, from this site http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-glenn-miller-tv-review-20140708-column.html
    (I remember seeing this show a while back.)

    "History Detectives Special Investigations: The Disappearance of Glenn Miller," airing 9 p.m. Tuesday on WTTW-Ch. 11, takes on the enigma of Miller's disappearance and arrives at a compelling and persuasive resolution. Though a bit hokey in presentation, with a trio of investigators tromping across the U.S. and Britain like a modern-day Mod Squad, the hour-long program nonetheless beautifully illuminates an important chapter of American cultural history.

    First, the detectives – whose conversations show an unfortunate love of cliche – demolish wild speculation, fact by fact. No, a corpse was not found in a Parisian den of vice. No, Miller's wartime work with movie star David Niven, who rejoined the British Army during the fighting, had nothing to do with spying – both simply were lending their celebrity to a noble cause. And, no, Miller was not a victim of "friendly fire" from British air power: Newly discovered information places him at the wrong time and place for him to have been accidentally killed by the Royal Air Force.

    As the program strips away these fictions, it movingly tells the story of Miller, an extraordinarily successful jazzman who walked away from a lucrative career to put his music at the service of his country. By volunteering to lead the Army Air Force Band across Europe, Miller not only lifted the spirits of Allied troops but worked to win over hearts and minds on the enemy side, as well. As German Luftwaffe pilots prepared to drop bombs on London, the program reports, they sometimes tuned in their radios to catch a few moments of the great Miller band on the air.

    So what exactly happened? Spoiler alert: Here comes a detailed description of a tragic confluence of circumstances.

    Miller had been anxious to leave Britain for France, in order to present a major concert for the troops who had liberated Paris. Lt. Col. Norman Baessell, an important figure in managing America's war effort, also needed to get to France fast and offered Miller a ride.

    Unfortunately, weather conditions were deteriorating, with fog thickening and cloud ceiling dropping rapidly from 3,000 to 2,000 to 1,500 feet. Paris officials denied Baessell's pilot, John Morgan, permission to undertake the flight, because the city was engulfed in fog. But Baessell ordered Morgan to go ahead anyway, a disastrous decision, because the pilot was not certified for flying without visuals and by instruments alone.

    What's more, defective carburetors on U.S. military aircraft of the period – including the single-engine plane Miller, Baessell and Morgan were boarding – were known to freeze up. These malfunctioning carburetors prevented fuel from getting to the engine and caused many U.S. military planes to crash.

    Given the terrible weather, faulty machinery and the pilot's limited skills, the chances that the three men would reach their destination were not good.

    "The airplane got out over the water, the (cloud) ceiling was dropping, the temperature was at freezing, the engine ices up, and all of a sudden, as they're flying along, more than halfway across the Channel, there's a loud noise, like a bang, like a backfire," says researcher Dennis Spragg in the program, citing newly discovered documents he's incorporating into a forthcoming book.

    "The engine stops, the airplane turns nose down, and in eight seconds it's in the water. … That's exactly what the United States Army Air Force concluded three weeks after the accident."

    But why didn't the army explain that scenario to Miller's fans around the world?

    For starters, the program shows, Miller boarded an unauthorized flight, so military operations didn't know for days that he was even on the fallen plane. In addition, Miller's failure to appear for the Paris concert had been overshadowed by news of the colossal Battle of the Bulge. Furthermore, U.S. military policy at the time precluded releasing such information.

    "In a presumed fatal accident, or where there was no evidence," Spragg says in the show, "they did not send messages back to relatives, or next of kin, saying, 'Johnny or Freddy, your son, made a mistake, got lost or killed himself. You have a perfect storm of human error, mechanical failure and weather. Not independent of one another – all three. And the plane goes down."

    Though Miller was known to fear flying, he had no idea he was stepping into a faulty plane operated by a pilot not qualified to fly it under such dire conditions. Yet Miller obviously saw the dreadful weather and, despite his long-standing apprehensions about flying, stepped into the plane anyway.

    That he did so surely attests to his devotion to his band and to the troops he sought to inspire with his music – which only heightens one's admiration for the sacrifice he made.
     
    j_alexandra likes this.
  13. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    It's amazing, considering Miller's extensive musical legacy, that the period where he and his band were at their peak only lasted about four years.
     
  14. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    No one knows exactly what happened to the plane he was in . The common assumption, is the plane was shot down .
     
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Currently, you can watch the entire episode of "History Detectives, " where they concluded that

    Unfortunately, weather conditions were deteriorating, with fog thickening and cloud ceiling dropping rapidly from 3,000 to 2,000 to 1,500 feet. Paris officials denied Baessell's pilot, John Morgan, permission to undertake the flight, because the city was engulfed in fog. But Baessell ordered Morgan to go ahead anyway, a disastrous decision, because the pilot was not certified for flying without visuals and by instruments alone.

    What's more, defective carburetors on U.S. military aircraft of the period – including the single-engine plane Miller, Baessell and Morgan were boarding – were known to freeze up. These malfunctioning carburetors prevented fuel from getting to the engine and caused many U.S. military planes to crash.

    Given the terrible weather, faulty machinery and the pilot's limited skills, the chances that the three men would reach their destination were not good.

    "The airplane got out over the water, the (cloud) ceiling was dropping, the temperature was at freezing, the engine ices up, and all of a sudden, as they're flying along, more than halfway across the Channel, there's a loud noise, like a bang, like a backfire," says researcher Dennis Spragg in the program, citing newly discovered documents he's incorporating into a forthcoming book.

    "The engine stops, the airplane turns nose down, and in eight seconds it's in the water. … That's exactly what the United States Army Air Force concluded three weeks after the accident."

    here http://video.pbs.org/video/2365284626/
     
  16. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I like this explanation better...
     

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